TAM VANTAGE - "LAUGHING GAS & APPLE PIE" LP
There are threads of Tam's previous solo work and groups (The Stevens, Chook Race, Permits) running through these songs but the decision to lean towards more stabbed, forceful percussive elements has spruced down the repertoire of an accomplished DIY musician who knows their way around a hook or crook. Limited to 107 copies, this was always going to be what some people like to call an "intimate" record, but I think that term is best saved for the birds and the bees or actually watching a musician play to all of twenty people. That doesn't mean that this intimacy can't be understood and enjoyed by all sorts. Speaking of hooks and crooks, the opening track is filled with them and absolutely worth a listen for anybody who has even a glancing interest in the sounds heard on guitar-music-local-radio in Australia over the last decade. For those of you who stick around for the rest of the meal, there is certainly a feeling present here that calls back to the fondly remembered, glorious and peculiar decade known as The Nineties. It's difficult to guess whether these songs have been laboured over or simply flew out of Tam Vantage's mind like that piece of toast jumping too high out of the toaster and straight onto the floor - but dust it off, spread your butter and you're laughing. If you're paying attention you'll notice some wrinkles of Double/Triple J touring machines, a shadow of college rock, an odd nod to that guy from Amherst whose name starts with J. and ends with Mascis (along with the groups who are forever indebted to him) and dare I say even a sprinkling of that cheeky British party powder scene. So if any of that sounds like your jam (or spread of choice) you'd be amiss not to have a look at Laughing Gas & Apple Pie.
'Laughing Gas & Apple Pie' is the 3rd studio LP from Tam Vantage. It is a more attacking, energetic and aggressive record than the jangle/shoegaze of 2017's 'Show Me To The Sun' or his developmental 2015 album 'Life In High Definiton'.
All instruments were played by Tam over the course of 2019-2020. Jesse Williams (Girlatones, Leah Senior) helped record some of the initial tracks, but the majority was self produced by Tam at home. Mastering was done by Mikey Young.
'Laughing Gas & Apple Pie' is the culmination of all Tam's previous work. His 10+ years of playing in bands such as Pop Singles, The Stevens, Girlatones, Leah Senior, Permits, Carpet Burn, and Chook Race, among others, has become ingrained in his overall musicality, and the influence of each can be heard. His latest musical aesthetic draws heavily upon 90's noise-rock/grunge/alternative bands, but never loses its melodic counterpart or elaborate instrumentation. His influences of 60's psychedelia, 70's singer-songwriters, and 80's post-punk and lo-fi can all still be heard. With this said, the digital age, in all of its twisted glory, is not overshadowed by retro-isms and cheap nostalgia - 'Laughing Gas & Apple Pie' is ultimately an album from (and representative of) the 21st century.
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